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Cardiff Met Lecturer Chosen to Represent Wales at Prestigious Art Festival in Venice

​25/05/2018

A Cardiff Met lecturer has been selected by the Arts Council of Wales to represent Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice at the 58th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale.

The Venice Biennale, which will run from 11 May to 24 November 2019, is one of the largest and most prestigious art exhibitions in the world. Wales has been represented since 2003 and for Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice 2019, Sean Edwards will be exhibiting a presentation led by Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham. International curator, Marie-Anne McQuay will be working on the project.

Sean, who is a sculptor and lecturer in Fine Arts at Cardiff School of Art and Design, has enjoyed a decade-long career within the art industry. Himself a graduate of Cardiff School of Art and Design, as well as the world-renowned, Slade School of Art in London, Sean has contributed heavily to the development of the Welsh artistic landscape through his own practice and through his continual support of the development of emerging artists.

He has won many awards, including a Gold Medal in Fine Art at the National Eisteddfod and the Arts Council of Wales Creative Wales Awards, and is currently developing permanent public artworks with Future City, Cambridge and Studio Response, Cardiff.

While Sean has exhibited nationally and internationally, the Venice Biennale exhibition will be Sean's most ambitious and emotionally resonant to date; a poetic enquiry into place, politics and class intertwined with personal histories – a topic that was heavily influenced by his own experiences of growing up on a council estate on the outskirts of Cardiff in the 1980s.

On being selected for Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice, Sean said: "I am delighted to have been selected to represent Wales in Venice. I look forward to working with the outstanding team at Tŷ Pawb, independent producer Louise Hobson and again with curator Marie-Anne McQuay.  To have the opportunity to produce the exhibition I proposed during the selection process is one thing in itself, to be able to do this under the banner of Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice is an opportunity almost beyond belief." 

Marie-Anne McQuay, Head of Programme at Bluecoat and Curator, said: "After a long and productive curator-artist relationship here at Bluecoat, Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts, and previously at Spike Island, Bristol, I am so pleased to be working with Sean Edwards once more and this time on something as prestigious as Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2019. Edwards is one of Wales' and the UK's leading artists under forty and I know that he will realize an exhibition which will resonate in the contemporary moment. Our enduring partnership with Tŷ Pawb will also give the project depth and reach within Wales and beyond." 

Phil George, Chair of Arts Council of Wales said: "Arts Council of Wales is absolutely delighted at the prospect of working with Sean Edwards on Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice 2019. Sean is a brilliant artist who will put Wales firmly on the map at this, the most prestigious of international festivals.  His unique way of working will use provocations to examine themes that are important to him as an individual but that will also resonate with individuals and communities throughout Wales and the world."

The exhibition from Wales is commissioned and managed by Arts Council of Wales with grant support from Welsh Government.